From the Winter 2016 Issue
The Biggest of the Smallest
On September 17 Museum member Bernd Schumacher displayed some of his Z scale equipment (1/220th full size, below), aiming for his collection to be recognized by the Guinness organization as the world’s largest. He began collecting in 1992 and focuses on European items.
A Good Year
Someone connected with the Pacific Coast Railway carefully saved many newspaper clippings concerning our local narrow-gauge line. The smaller articles were stapled to standard size sheets of paper, and most have dates hand written next to them. Unfortunately, the article quoted here did not identify the newspaper. It was probably the Santa Maria Times. This one is dated July 13, 1938, and is in a column headed “Fifty Years Ago,” so it’s originally from the year 1888. “The annual report of the Pacific Coast railroad was filed yesterday. The total cost of construction was $2,072,233, of equipment $204,795. …total income from all sources [was] $193,003, in comparison with [operating] expenditures of $82,989. The line is in operation between Port Harford and Los Olivos, a distance of 79 miles..."
Structural and civil engineers should enjoy this one.
Also people who have been in the military. And people who have been in any organization with a hierarchy. But everyone has to be patient while we get some background out of the way. The American Civil War (1861-65) was the first conflict to engage railroads in a significant role. They carried troops and supplies with unprecedented speed, and fed the industries at the dawn of warfare that used standardized parts. Some rail cars were even made to carry canons and mortars. For an amusing depiction of a Civil War era rail-mounted mortar, it’s hard to beat a scene in Buster Keaton’s 1926 film “The General.”
And much more...